Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


I'm happy to see so many knitting books out there. My take is I don't need to buy them, I check them out from the library. Some of them are getting a bit excessive but no one is forcing me to buy them, so I don't.

It's so fascinating to read about your yarn diet. Mine is out of pure financial necessity but also I've come to have a comfortable familiarity with the yarn that I have. Some of it I've rediscovered in my recent inventory and I remember why I loved it so when I first bought it. It seems strange to say but I feel less frantic about my stash now than when I was constantly enhancing it. I appreciate what I have more now. Of course, there are small enhancements here and there for "urgent" projects, and there will be for an upcoming visit to a certain fiber fest. We seem to be so obsessed with stuff in our culture be it yarn or the biggest screen tv known to man. I think a self-imposed or financially imposed yarn diet or stuff diet is in store for our culture. Just my opinion

By Blogger erica, at 5:23 PM  

I have to agree with both of you. I'm trying to be good about yarn stash as well as knitting books. I will allow myself a few yarn purchases at MS&W, but I'd really like that to be IT until the fall, if possible. And I would like to resist the purchase of yarn unless I have a specific project to knit for. What has recently helped me get a grip on the stash acquisition mania was the April 1st "Flash Your Stash" day, which made me realize how much I had, (which is much less than that of others, but much more than I need at a given time).

I also have a propensity to buy tons of books whenever I discover a new hobby -- the worst abuse of this was for my gardening obsession. I have BOOKCASES full of gardening books - way more than any one person needs. I truly don't want that for my knitting hobby, and so I'd like to stick with just the very best reference books and the classics.

Here's hoping! :-)

By Blogger Mary, at 11:22 PM  

Bess, my lovely to read your thoughts once again. I know exactly what you mean about finally reaching the place in our lives where I can finally not "need" to buy a lucious yarn to begin a "futuristic" project that never quite makes it to my needles.

I have way too much already, at least 8 UFO's, and have been on a quest to finish those, one at a time, until I begin something new, socks not included, naturally.

By Blogger Laura, at 11:38 AM  

Bess...go check my blog for today's post it will make you feel better about about someone needing to have a yarn diet ;-)

I won't be attending MD or MA S&W this year and the only reason I'm going to NH is to drop off fleece that I've purchased for processing otherwise I'd honestly skip that one too.

I have learned/realized recently through moving and having to look at everything multiple times that I have a lot of good yarns/fiber just waiting to be worked with, played with and just generally appreciated...the more I buy, the less chance of some of those wonderful yummy yarns getting that chance anytime in the near future.

By Blogger Mari, at 4:53 PM  

Did you finish the Yarn Harlot book? If so, what was your final rating?

By Blogger Mary, at 12:25 AM  

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Saturday, April 15, 2006  

The light floating through my window is tickling the edges of my eyes, for it is the soft grey light of a real live spring shower. Not a thunderstorm, not a dreary February rain, not the strange windblown storm of hurricane season. It’s a watery light that comes only when it’s filtered through the pale green lace of a springtime forest. This time of year the sun rises in the southeast corner of the office window, tucked deeply behind the fringe of trees that stands sentinel along the high bank overlooking flat tidal marshes.

We have had a somewhat cool and very dry spring. It would be better if we could swap those adjectives about but alas, Mother Nature does not have to follow rules of grammar or syntax. We must take what she offers and be grateful or woeful to her supreme disdintrest. Last year we had a very cool and very wet spring and the corn rotted in the fields before it could sprout. This year, many farmers are postponing corn planting in the hopes that the clouds will be merciful. Perhaps this is the week when the tractors will roll at last.

Living in a community that still has a bit of the agricultural economy it once boasted makes one supremely sensitive to weather. Even when one is not gardening, one cares, one notices. I think it helps make us more connected, grounded to the place that supports us, even if we spend most of our time in virtual communities or walled off wombs with climate control.

My. I didn’t mean to slip into melancholy. I’m actually thrilled to have a soft grey wet day; a day that makes the sparse grass in my front yard look lush, against the soft chocolate brown of wet earth. I’m especially pleased because I have a 3 day weekend lying before me like the treasure in Aladdin’s cave. I’ve had lots of time out of the library this spring, some for pleasure, some for library work. This weekend is pure pleasure because Monday is my wedding anniversary. Perhaps I ought to only call it my marriage anniversary, since we did not have a wedding. I had seen few of them when I got married, and none were any fun. They all looked like expensive staged family quarrels to me, so I chose to go the courthouse route. It wasn’t till my dear friends P&T got married that I realized that weddings could be fun!

But anniversaries. Well now. They are the reward for all that went before. They are the fun nostalgia days, the laughing shared memories days, the eat dinner at a restaurant days. Often, for us, they are going on a ramble days. We have years of photos of interesting large trees or redbud dotted pastures or small rural intersections that look like the set for The Waltons, that record anniversaries of the past. This year we are considering a jaunt down to VA Beach for a peek into the Edgar Cayce library. But that is a brief one day trip and the rest of the time I hope we can spend cuddled in bed, walking down the lane, watching movies and ... for me, at least, knitting a short row heel that doesn’t have holes in the seam.

I love to knit socks and I have memorized the heel flap construction, but I am ready now to venture into other structures. I want to have at least 3 sock patterns memorized - owned by my brain so I can always have something to knit without having to think about things. I would have started a toe up sock using S’s instructions, only I found this half knit cuff in my stash and wasn’t about to rip it out. BD is the only one in the family with NO handknit socks any more. I knit them, but I’m not likely to repair them and he put holes in his last pair some months ago. This is because, given a choice, he will always put on his hand knit socks. I, otoh, wear cheap cotton socks as often as I wear the product of my needles. I also don’t trek about the farm for miles at a time, as he does. So his wardrobe of socks ought to be the bigger. It's not. Mine is. Alas. His feet also take the most stitches and somehow a 60 stitch sock is never as tempting as a 48 stitcher.

Happily, this is sport weight yarn and knit with fewer stitches. The socks may turn out to be too thick and too heavy for summer wear, but at least the color and design is not girlie - which all the rest of my sock yarn stash is. I just feel too guilty to knit socks for me when poor BD is going barefoot. But there is a huge pile of Interlacements yarn in bright bold colors whispering to me from the fireplace where I keep th bags of sock and novelty yarn.

Which should let you know that I too, like the Yarn Harlot, am a wanton stash builder. So, Margaret, don’t think I can’t appreciate her dilemma with yarn. And I am at the part where she’s assessing all her UFO’s and I too understand her yearning to be one of Those kinds of knitters - who knit a project till it’s done and then start another. In my case, it’s a size issue, not a behavior problem. Or perhaps I ought to say it was a threshold issue. My threshold for Repulsion At Self comes waaaaay sooner than hers does. I could do a lot of bizarre things on my quest for knitting nirvana, but buying 70 skeins of anything is not one of them.

Timing, too, is a component of pleasure no matter what the activity. I am deep into my self imposed love affair with what I already own. Like the words of the song, I intend to love the one I’m with and I’m finding it deeply rewarding. That frenzied anxiety to see more, shop more, buy more, drive a further to hit one yarn shop more, has subsided and I feel so much better for it. I can visit a yarn shop and look at luscious hand dyed merino in the rich autumnal colors that make my eyes go soft, and then just walk away. Oh. I touch, of course and admire and praise. But I don’t covet. The lust to possess is subsiding and that’s what I wanted to achieve. And when I think about starting a knitting project, my mind has the chance to cast back over the beauties I already own and get that same sighing soft feeling, that melty sort of limpness that lets you really feel the force of gravity. And I never have to hunt for my wallet. I just go downstairs and fondle the pretties in my very own house. Unless I’m fondling the stash beneath the bed. So - even clever stoires about stash building are out of tempo to the song my heart is singing these days.

In a way, the very urge that prompts me to make it myself, when I could buy it so much cheaper at the store, is what is driving me to use yarn from my stash instead of buying it fresh at the yarn shop.

As for the plethora of yarn/knitting/crafty books - ahh well. I say there is always room for the good book. There’s always room for the one I want. There is still, out there in craft book land, the as yet unwritten book with information I really ought to have. I would be offended by the excess of shallow, silly, trivial, almost insulting, literature out there in fiberland, only . . . what is dross to me is dress-up to another. The harlequin romance knitting books might not be to my taste, seeking more of a Hemmingway or Austen quality for my next purchase, but for that new knitter, or that HYUKster (remember that dreadful acronym?) or whatever - well - maybe stitch ‘n’ bitch mach IV is just what it takes to release her from fur scarf knitting bondage.

I buy a lot of trash for the library - but people really love it and it circulates till the bindings disintegrate. And many’s the time I’ve weepingly removed a book from the shelves that only I ever read, for no matter how enthusiastically I gushed over its contents, I could interest no one in the treasure within. Who am I to say what people ought to like? I only know, I’d rather paw through the excess for the one jewel than to have nothing to paw through at all.

Ahh - and here comes the sun. How Easter like - to get a resurrection of life giving light after the rainy tears.

posted by Bess | 8:58 AM